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The Tobacconist(Der Trafikant)

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Austria, Germany · 2018
1h 49m
Director Nikolaus Leytner
Starring Simon Morzé, Bruno Ganz, Johannes Krisch, Emma Drogunova
Genre Drama, History

Seventeen-year-old Franz journeys to Vienna under Nazi occupation to apprentice at a tobacco shop. There he meets Sigmund Freud, a regular customer, and over time the two very different men form a singular friendship.

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What are critics saying?


IndieWire by David Ehrlich

While The Tobacconist is always watchable, its inability to find meaning in a mess of uncooked symbolism prevents the movie from being worthy of Freud, and from doing justice to his parting words.


San Francisco Chronicle by G. Allen Johnson

Nikolaus Leytner’s competent, watchable but uninspired adaptation of the best-selling novel by Robert Seethaler does have a few attractions, chiefly a heartwarming farewell performance as Freud, the famed psychoanalyst, by the great Bruno Ganz, who died last year not long after filming.

50 by Nick Allen

A movie that bases part of its drab period fiction on the fantasy of getting Freud’s friendly advice, all for the price of a good cigar. But the script, based on a revered novel from Robert Seethaler, concerns more serious themes than Freud's off-hand advice, though its shallow storytelling gives little to contemplate.


Screen Daily by Nikki Baughan

Freud aside, this is a fairly straightforward boy-to-man narrative, but that it plays out during such a turbulent time in Austrian history brings additional texture.


Variety by Peter Debruge

In the end, what makes The Tobacconist effective despite its limitations is the way it focuses on the experience of a “typical” Austrian — that is, a citizen without political convictions.


Movie Nation by Roger Moore

Ganz has a wonderful twinkle about him that makes him perfect for Freud. If only he’d had a little something to chew on. If only the character felt like more than a Big Name afterthought.


The Hollywood Reporter by Stephen Farber

The film expertly captures the tensions in the Austrian capital on the eve of Hitler’s takeover, and it also manages to be a vibrant coming-of-age story and an intriguing portrayal of Sigmund Freud, expertly portrayed by Bruno Ganz.


The New York Times by Teo Bugbee

This is a pretty movie to be sure, with attractive cinematography, period costume and production design. But the film has no political or philosophical weight, and it is ultimately a movie that is as hard to take seriously as its somewhat dunderheaded protagonist.

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